Mehdi Karrubi was elected speaker of Iran's reformist-dominated parliament in May 2000. On leaving office in May 2004, he defended the right of deputies to become involved in political issues. And he urged the new conservative-led parliament to cooperate with the government.
Karrubi: Possible presidential candidate in 2005
He is a noted reformist and ally of President Khatami. Supporters hoped he would prevail against the conservative faction in parliament and "sell" reforms to the Guardian Council.
But Mr Karrubi is highly regarded and trusted in the conservative camp as well. His personal ties with figures across the political spectrum, going back to the revolution, have given him credibility as a mediator.
He attempted to resolve disputes between parliament and the other branches of power. In August 2001 he proposed a committee to arbitrate in a row between parliament and the judiciary over appointments to the Guardian Council.
In 2003, he intervened in a standoff between the Majlis and the Guardian Council over twin bills proposed by President Khatami.
The bills, aimed at boosting presidential power and curbing the role of the Guardian Council, were overwhelmingly approved by parliament in April 2003, but rejected by the Council as unconstitutional in May.
"I believe that this problem must be resolved," he said in May 2003, according to the state-owned news agency. "Our policy and efforts are aimed at resolving this issue through understanding."
Mr Karrubi has been seen as a possible presidential candidate in the 2005 elections.
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